Chicago Beas' Devin Hester (23) gives a stiff-arm to Carolina Panthers' Olindo Mare (10) on the way to a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Devin Hester was performing somersaults. Matt Forte was running wild, too.
One thing the Bears weren’t doing was breathing easy.
Hester set an NFL record with his 11th punt return for a touchdown, Forte ran for a career-high 205 yards and the Bears beat Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 34-29 on Sunday.
Hester had earlier set up a touchdown run by Forte with a 73-yard kickoff return before he ran back a line-drive punt 69 yards in the second quarter to move ahead of Eric Metcalf on the all-time list.
“It was a bad hit on the punt, it let a lot of space on the field for me to try to create things,” said Hester, the NFL’s career leader with 15 combined kick-return TDs.
His three somersaults in the end zone after the touchdown that made it 24-10 got him flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.